Objective: To determine the long-term (5-year)outcomes of long-axis traction using a computerized axial traction approach. It was hypothesized that patients with low back pain who underwent computerized axial traction of the spine would have a reduced frequency of low back pain at five years.
Summary of Background Data: Over the last 50 years, different approaches utilizing a long-axis traction force have been applied to the cervical and lumbar spine in patients with radicular complaints. There have been a number of studies that describe the benefits of long-axis traction (see synopsis in the Appendix). Few studies have described the long-term clinical status utilizing long-axis traction.
Methods: From an original sample of 14 subjects that had low back and leg pain, 8 were selected for follow-up for this follow-up study. The outcomes tools utilized included The Revised Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire, and a survey prepared by the research team.
Results: Of the 8 patients selected to be surveyed, 7 responded by returning the questionnaires. Six of the seven indicated improvement following the traction treatment. There were 3 of 6 that had a return of symptoms at some point after the treatment and 3 of 6 that had resolution of pain. Of the total that responded to the treatment, 85.7% indicated that they would refer others for the procedure.
Conclusions: In this limited study, computerized axial traction was shown to reduce low back and leg pain for up to 5 years in 43% of the cases included and for at least 2 years in 86% of the cases. Patient satisfaction with the procedure was high, as evidenced by the number of patients who would refer others for the procedure.
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